To buy or not to buy (online)? That is the question

In General

Kenya’s online retailers have a long way to go in terms of getting majority Kenyans aboard the new way of shopping.

According to the latest study by IT News Africa, despite several other factors contributing to the hesitation by some Kenyans to get their stuff online, majority will shy away from the new avenue as trust is the main issue.

“Among the top reasons cited why many in these 5 African countries do not frequently use online shopping sites are :

Lack of trust, shipping costs, unsupported payment methods, and because a friend had a bad experience, ” notes the GeoPoll survey conducted on 1,251 respondents in Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, Ghana, and Nigeria.

Other reasons filled were lack of reliability by some sites in delivery and the purchase process.

“Others feel that there is no need to shop online as the items are readily available at their local store “adds IT News Africa.

According to their findings, a majority (25 per cent) of the people surveyed in Uganda cited trust as the issue when it comes to online shopping, while South Africa scored 31 per cent.

In Ghana, trust garnered 26 per cent, Nigeria 29 per cent, and Kenya 30 per cent.

As a result, a majority of shoppers in Kenya, Nigeria and Uganda paid on delivery for items bought online.

However, the survey found, in South Africa, most shoppers (50 per cent) prefer to pay using their debit card and a further 26 per cent use their debit card for online purchases.
“Cash on delivery in South Africa is also the preferred mode of payment at 20 per cent compared to mobile money.”

On the other hand, in Kenya, where mobile money is hugely popular, it is the next preferred payment option (42 per cent) after cash on delivery.

“This underscores the distrust most shoppers have with online stores. Most would rather pay once they have actually received the item, ” comments IT News Africa.

This calls for urgent right action on the part of online retailers in Kenya because, according to the news agency, online shopping has a great economic potential:

Citing the findings of a recent KPMG report, IT News Africa notes that in seven Sub-Saharan countries (Kenya included), e-commerce makes up to 3 per cent of GDP and is predicted to make up 10 per cent of total retail sales in key markets by 2025, with 40 per cent annual growth over the next 10 years.

Besides, the total retail economy is projected to grow rapidly, along with the population as a whole and its spending per capita.



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